Christen & Josh

May 28, 2011. Mawwage. Mawwage is what bwings us together today. Wove, twue wove.

Wedding Party

Christen’s parents:

My mom & dad: Tam & Dan Duong. You know how in sitcoms, there’s always one kid with the perfect, nuclear family? Well, my parents are those parents. I cannot thank them enough for their overwhelming positivity (some of which carried on in me), can-do spirit, and support. This is despite of or maybe because of surviving a war, schlepping off to a new country, and trying their darndest to make it a home for me (no matter how often I gallivant off to a distant land). Beyond that, my dad really is the nicest guy you could possibly meet, and as my nephew Daniel says, “a handsome man.” My mom is probably most responsible for that twinkle of trouble-making always in the corner of my eye. She fed my want to wander, and also, my obsessive search for a coffeeshop with both good coffee and good pastries. I will have to call her out for just recently crossing a border illegally with me and really, really, enjoying that. No harm, no foul. Just lots of love.  

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Josh’s parents:

My mom & dad: Tiffany & Phong Nguyen.  My dad has seen practically everything.  South Sea pirates? He’s had a few words with them. Wars? He’s been shot in the arm and stuffed in a freezer and survived.  Money? We carried gold bars around at one time. Poverty? Yep, that too.  He really is the most interesting man in the world.  My mom was a model, had an ice cream shop (!), survived two crazy geopolitical migrations, and managed to be the best mom ever. Oh, she’s who I get my wanderlusty happy feet from. 

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Christen’s friends:

Kaylan is one of my oldest and closest friends. She knows way too much about me from high school, New York, and beyond. She saved me from rabies (which sorry to say Kaylan, is one of the main ways I mention you to people). She’s an opthamologist who enjoys saving the world on the side - in Wisconsin, Kurdistan, and other totally random places. She pushes me to be thoughtful, keep it real, and remember all Beastie Boys lyrics.

Vinny is my go-to global jetsetter friend. As in if I mark an “X” on a map, mail it to Vinny in a bottle, and tell him to meet me there, he will be there. Lounging in a beach chair. With a drink in hand. Skipping town to a exotic locale to “learn the language?” Done. Hollywood? Yeah. Dual passports? In hand. Beyond pushing me to travel the world to keep up with him, he’s driven me to challenge the line between ambition and fun, and to keep striving to be a better person. If I ever own a hammock, Vinny has first dibs.

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Josh’s friends: 

Mary is one of my closest friends from Penn - and the person who’s probably the most patient with all my neuroses and vices. She lived in Bulgaria for a while, so don’t make fun of gypsies around her.  She also plays the cello really really well, like majorly good.  She got me into drawing, k-pop, soju and my creative side. Super friend.  

Kerry is one of my oldest friends since high school.  I prefer to describe our talks not so much as whines, but as meditations on the modern self.  I keep thinking that if he just sold out and turned away from theatre, he could totally be the token Asian guy in all those phone commercials.  He looks a bit like Andy Lau.  He can also squat really well. We now live a couple of blocks away from each other — once we get those rocking chairs, I think we’d have done everything we need to do as friends.

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Ring Bearer:

Daniel is Christen’s nephew and an overall awesome scamp.

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Flower Girl:

Hilary is Christen’s little cousin and she’s a ball of energy!

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Reader and MC:

Adam, Josh’s brother is a man of many talents, the biggest probably is his conspicuous ability to understand and gravitate towards the finer things in life. 

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Ceremony Coordinator (Christen’s friend):

Tara is many things – thoughtful, loyal, coffee fiend, yummy baker (who’s gracious enough to indulge my whoopie pie baking requests for the wedding, look for them!) with a good sense of humor for daily life – but what I will appreciate her for most is how she embraced the idea of driving all night to get from Seattle to Idaho to look for potatoes. No questions, just map and go. I owe her some spuds for that one. She now has a beautiful nuclear, (1 hubby, 1 son, 1 daughter, 2 dogs, 1 cat) family that I’m happy I get to see whenever I visit my hometown.

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Reception Coordinator (and Josh’s awesome friend): 

Gina is like New York for me: passionate and vivacious and always looking round the bend. She has a tremendous way of connecting to people; check out her amazing ice cream creations, articles on coffee and her thoughts on yoga — they reflect a curiosity and dedication to creativity that reflects a common thread for the very best of my friends.